Kalorik EXP 25022 800W 4-Cup Espresso Maker
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- 3-1/2 Bar boiler
- Removable drip tray
- Convenient function switch for selecting expresso, steam or off position
- Steam nozzle for cappuccino
- Make 2-4 cups of espresso
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Savor the delicious taste of espresso for an after-dinner delight or as a delicious companion to any dessert with this Kalorik espresso maker. It features 3-1/2 bar boiler pressure for outstanding espresso with every brew. For added enjoyment, the swivel jet frother tops cappuccino, latte and more with a frothy finish, just like what's served at your favorite coffeehouse.
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This is my first Kalorik. Some of its drawbacks are that after the coffee is made, there is no reserve of steam left to froth the milk. You must stand and watch it so that you can catch it at the right moment in order to end the coffee-making process and start the steaming. A pain! The knob that controls the off-on functions has continuously fluid movement. There are no "stop" notches to indicate by feel that you are switching from one function to the other. Given that the labels that mark the functions are printed on the side of the machine and very faintly at that, it's hard to tell what function you are setting the machine on. I'm sure one would get used to the feel of this over time, but it would have been infinitely better to add stops. Also, the printing that they've used to mark the functions is that faint type that will wear completely off due to general wear and cleaning. If one doesn't know the function positions of the knob, they wouldn't have a clue how to operate it.
I use a 16 oz. frothing pitcher, but the frothing wand on the machine is so short that it will not reach the milk unless the pitcher is turned halfway onto it's side. It's tricky because then the milk is inclined to spill out during during the process unless I'm careful and very attentive. It can get messy. Another pain. To boot, I absolutely hate the flip-out arrangement of the frothing arm. It's always a little fight to get it out of the way of the coffee basket and the frothing pitcher when using either. Another pain.
One freaky little thing this machine does that is highly annoying is that if you forget to move the control knob to "off/steam release" after making the coffee and instead leave it in its other off position called "pause," then a fairly strong, unnoticed vacuum inside of the machine will result. What's annoying is that if you start the next operation by unscrewing the lid to add water, the vacuum will suck the gasket off of the lid and into the machine. Fortunately, there's a grate 2 1/2" inches inside the filler opening that prevents the gasket from actually being ingested, but it will trap the gasket there and it's somewhat difficult to remove. It requires tools to grasp and pull it out. Then, it's difficult to re-install it back into the cap; it doesn't want to seat. Another pain! I've done this twice in the first week. I'm sure I'll learn.
Where the water is added, the maker has a partially threaded arrangement for the filler neck that I'm sure is designed to save manufacturing costs. But it's VERY easy to cross thread with the fairly soft plastic threads of the plastic cap. If one did this a few times accidentally (it's easy to do!) I'm sure they'd be needing to order a replacement cap in relatively short order. Another pain.
While I don't worry too much about the design of the machine--I just want coffee!--I can't help think that if one is concerned about looks, this machine is very gimmicky looking. The design seems as if it's trying to look really snappy, but not based on simplicity and function. To me, it looks dated and dorky.
In summary, I would not buy this machine if I could find something better. But what is that? It's not Mr. Coffee. It's not Signature. This makes better tasting coffee than those. But I can't wait until this one dies and I can hunt down the next replacement.
(1) grind the coffee extremely fine, tamp and re-tamp hard.
(2) pre-heat the water in a "HotPot" or something similar -- it helps a great deal to make better moka.
Not quite as good as my old "Maxim" espresso-maker, but a lot faster and quieter.